5 Undrafted Titans Players Who Could Prove to Be Gems
Most of the news coming out from the Titans these days is about the progress of the rookie draft picks and the new free-agent additions to the team. It makes sense since they're the more important players 99 times out of 100.
However, every now and then a few of the undrafted free agents come in and make a big impact. Some of them even turn into starters down the road.
Here are five of the Titans' undrafted free agents from this offseason who could turn into something special.
1. Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle was one of the better signings of the undrafted free-agent class, and he seems to be living up to that. One of the most productive tight ends in WKU history has three tight ends in front of him, but with Delanie Walker injured, his chances of making the roster are good.
Doyle has prototypical size for his position, standing 6'5" and weighing 254 lbs, so he already looks the part of a pro-ready tight end.
It also doesn't hurt that Doyle caught several passes, including a touchdown, during the Titans' June 6 practice, via The Tennessean.
Doyle still has an uphill battle in making the roster, but if he keeps up the good work in practice, the Titans staff will have to find a roster spot for him.
2. Stefan Charles
Of all the undrafted free agents that the Titans picked up, Stefan Charles received the biggest signing bonus, according to Jim Wyatt of Titans Insider.
That may not tell you much about him as a player, but it shows what the Titans' staff think of him.
The big defensive tackle out of Canada comes from the same school as New Orleans tackle/end Akiem Hicks, and Hicks' pro career got off to a good start—he racked up 20 tackles and a deflected pass despite starting no games.
Charles also has size on his side, standing 6'5" and tipping the scales at a whopping 315 lbs.
If he takes advantage of the fact that the Titans need size on the defensive line, he could end up with a roster spot.
3. Stefphon Jefferson
I've said before that Stefphon Jefferson could be the best signing in this undrafted free-agent class, and I still think that's true.
Jefferson had an incredibly productive career at Nevada, with 2,338 career rushing yards and 31 total touchdowns, and his potential is impossible to ignore.
With Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson both collecting a hefty salary this season, don't expect to see much from Jefferson unless there's an injury. However, if he does well at OTAs, his salary would make him very tempting to keep on in case Greene or Johnson disappoint.
4. Oscar Johnson
Like Jack Doyle and Stefan Charles, Oscar Johnson received a big signing bonus, and like Stefphon Jefferson, he won't see immediate playing time.
He played an excellent right tackle at Louisiana Tech, and the offensive line play was one of the reasons the Bulldogs had an 9-3 season in 2013.
Johnson is the ideal size for a right tackle, but could spend time at guard if needed. With David Stewart possibly seeing free agency soon (his contract is voidable for 2014), the Titans will want to keep options open in case they can't retain him.
The fact that Johnson can play either tackle or guard could help his cause to stay on the team long term.
5. Jonathan Willard
Jonathan Willard is one of several middle linebackers that the Titans picked up this offseason, joining Greg Jones, Moise Fokuo and Tom Wort in competition for a chance at a valuable backup spot.
Willard has a few things going for him. First off, he's good in coverage, which is something that the Titans have lacked behind Colin McCarthy. He also has the confidence of the coaching staff, being one of the undrafted free agents to see a significant signing bonus.
Last, but not least, with his long frame and coverage skills, Willard has the versatility to be converted to strong safety if needed. With George Wilson nearing the end of his career and Bernard Pollard on a one-year deal, the strong safety position may need to be addressed soon.
If Willard can stay competitive, his potential versatility could be the difference between a spot on the team and unemployment.